TOMÁS SARACENO (b. 1973, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, lives and works in Berlin), CLOUD CITIES – NEBULOUS THRESHOLDS, Metal, polyester rope, fishing line, iridescent, plexiglass, metal wire, steel thread, 2017, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, Gift of Barbara ’68 and Theodore ’68 Alfond. 2017.6.46
Tomás Saraceno draws inspiration from the natural sciences, astrophysics, and architecture to create his innovative and imaginative sculptures and installations. He earned his degree in architecture in 1999 from the Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires, in addition to studying at the International Space Studies Program at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley in 2009. Saraceno grew up in Argentina but currently lives and works in Berlin. The artist’s trademark floating sculptures and installations explore the relationship between time and space, finding new ways to unite the fields of art and science. The installation Cloud Cities – Nebulous Thresholds draws from his analysis of modern architecture of the 1960s and 1970s while representing the idea of futuristic aerial living.
Saraceno presents inventive ideas that challenge traditional conceptions about art. His latest projects focus on the potential of becoming “aerosolar,” or the prospect of living in an airborne environment. This installation is a part of the artist’s Cloud Cities series, inspired by his two-decade long research investigation of urbanism and environmental utopias. Cloud Cities embodies his idea of futuristic habitats: each module represents an inhabitable structure that floats freely throughout the atmosphere. Saraceno’s installation incorporates a variety of utilitarian materials, including rope, fishing line, and Plexiglas, to integrate both his artistic and habitable ideas. He sees these potentially inhabitable modules as a “three dimensional era of social engagement,” aligning with his previous projects associated with the concept of aerial life. The iridescent paneling reflects a variety of colors as the light changes throughout the day. As the viewer moves under the work, the installation itself appears ever-changing, the metal, ropes, and wire within the modules appearing different from every angle.